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Liton Das leans on experience around him after dream World Cup debut

Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan and Liton Das celebrate winning
Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan and Liton Das celebrate winning
©Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Shakib Al Hasan’s guiding influence was telling as he and the inexperienced Liton Das saw Bangladesh to a comprehensive World Cup seven-wicket victory over West Indies in Taunton.

  •  Liton Das hit 94 not out in Bangladesh’s impressive seven-wicket win over West Indies
  • 24-year-old was appearing in his first-ever ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup game

Chasing a mammoth 322 for victory in the potentially pivotal group game at the County Ground, Liton and Shakib put on a thrilling 189-run fourth-wicket partnership - the second-highest of its ilk in World Cup history - to steer the Tigers to glory.

The partnership was made all the more remarkable for the fact that Das, 24, was making his first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup appearance.

But with the world’s leading ODI all-rounder Shakib alongside him as a steadying influence, the youngster exuded composure, smashing 94 off 69 balls at a strike rate of 136 to down the Men in Maroon.

“I was a bit nervous as this was my first match in the World Cup,” he said. “The first 15 balls I faced were short and I was a bit nervous facing them.

“But Shakib told me: ‘If you stay in for five or six overs on this wicket, then it’ll be easy. The wicket is good, so believe in yourself’.

“It was a pleasure to bat with Shakib and finish the game with him. It was a good innings, my pleasure.”

Now fifth in the table after Monday’s stellar result against Jason Holder’s dangerous side - a point behind England in fourth - Das was left to reflect on a job well done both individually and collectively.

And while the wicketkeeper-batsman had also impressed with a mature knock of 73 in the recent warm-up against India, he was in no uncertain terms as to the best moment of his nascent career.

“I did well against India, but this was special,” he added.

“Nobody could imagine doing this [in a first World Cup game]. It feels good.”